Despite the winds and slightly cooler, wetter weather, buying property for sale in Carcassonne has proved very popular in recent years. The city is under an hour from Languedoc's beaches, and also under an hour from the beautiful city of Toulouse, with its superb restaurants and shops.
Carcassonne itself is a small city, and not quite as pretty or fun as Narbonne, its neighbour in the Aude department. It has been over-shadowed by the huge 'La Cite' fortress, which brings in thousands of tourists from all over the world. That said, the town has some nice shops and the central square offers an excellent market and is a great place to sit and have lunch or a cup of coffee.
The airport at Carcassonne, with regular RyanAir flights from Stansted has helped to raise property prices in and around Carcassonne. It ensures a steady stream of holiday-makers and house hunters. As a result, property for sale in the Carcassonne area of France has risen in price in recent years, along with the rest of Languedoc. It is, however, still cheaper than Montpellier and Nimes, further north.
The weather around Carcassonne tends to be slightly less hot and dry, and it can be windy (thanks to the Tramontagne wind), as the area lies in a valley between the Pyrenees and the Black Mountains.
Property in the centre of Carcassonne is a good bet (rather than property just on the outskirts of the city, which tend to be less pretty). Town houses of say 3-4 bedrooms will set you back between €200k - €500k, depending on their position and state of repair. Apartments are a good bet too, whether you buy one in an old building and renovate, or an apartment in one of the new-build apartment developments. These often allow you to buy on a leaseback scheme, where the developers guarantee to rent the apartment out for most of the year for you, at a guaranteed rate of return. These offer good investment opportunities with a minimum of work for you.
Some of the towns and village just outside Carcassonne (beyond the suburbs) are great places to buy property for sale. Caune-en-Minervois is particularly lovely, very old and well preserved with a famous abbey. Limoux to the south is also very nice, although a little remote. Another good place to buy property near Carcassonne is Trèbes, on the Canal-du-Midi. In fact, any property in the Carcassonne area that is near the canal would be a great buy, as the Canal is hugely popular with holiday-makers and other house buyers alike.
Whether property for sale in Carcassonne will appreciate as fast as in other parts of Languedoc is hard to tell. The airport at Carcassonne is a huge boon, as is the Canal. And the fabulous 'pink city' of Toulouse is only an hour away. But it is far from those popular beaches (especially popular with Germans and Dutch), and the slightly less Mediterranean climate could well keep prices down. Time will tell...
Should you not find property for sale in Carcassonne that meets your needs, contact an estate agent who works in the Carcassonne area.